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Feb 20, 2012 10:04 PM

Philly Weekend in Late March -- How's My List Look?

Hey Chowhounds,

My wife and I are coming from NYC to Philly to enjoy a long weekend, check out the Springsteen exhibit at NCC, and enjoy as much great food and drink along the way as we can. Would love to get advice. Here's my plan:

Arrive (Friday)

Dinner: Amada (Have seen that some think you need to order the right things here -- any advice on what the right things are? Or should we go for the chef's tasting?)


Dinner: Vetri


Brunch: Lacroix

Dinner: Talulah's Garden

Thinking about hitting DiNic's at some point for the pulled pork sandwich as well. Bars I'm thinking about include Franklin Mortgage, Ranstead Room, Farmers Cabinet, and Bar 201. Also looking for dessert advice: any great places for sweets, especially post-dinner?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Good list. However, I think you should include one or two of our great byob's. Bibou and Littlefish would be at the top of my list. Also, I don't know when you are coming but (unless you already have one) you should make your Vetri reservation. I think it's still two months out. I would call exactly two months before the date you want. If I'm wrong on this, someone here here will correct me. It is difficult, though, to get Vetri reservations.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JanR

      The hardest time to snag a reservation for Vetri is Friday nights. I did a quick search on opentable on Vetri for this weekend and you could get a seating at 6pm or 830. I think that if you are flexible in the time you want to eat, you should be ok in finding a reservation (though do not wait.. ). I you prefer to eat a civilized time like 7pm, then make sure you get your reservation in now.

      1. re: cwdonald

        If it were me, I'd substitute Zahav for Talula's Garden. While the latter has very good food, nothing really struck me as being a "must eat" whereas the lamb mesibah at Zahav is another story. Do hit DiNic's and browse the Reading Terminal Market. As far as desserts, I am honestly drawing a blank. Capogiro has good gelato and the Franklin Fountain (temporarily closed for renovations) has good ice cream creations, but since Naked Chocolate closed a while back I can't think of any really good dessert destination in town.

        1. re: bluehensfan

          La Golosa (near 6th & Catherine) is a good dessert destination.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            +1 on Zahav's roasted lamb (needs to be ordered in advance).

      2. Per JanR's suggestion, maybe Friday night is the night to incorporate a BYOB. Bibou and Little Fish are awesome. I'd also suggest Kanella and Fond. Kanella is one of my favorites and may feel less heavy given your plans for Vetri and brunch at Lacroix (also good to snag a rez here quickly). Kanella is on Open Table, so it's easy to reserve.

        Pick up some whoopie pies at Flying Monkey in the Reading Terminal Market, they'd make a tasty late night dessert.

        1. Sounds like you like cocktails from your bar picks... I'd suggest a trip to Southwark, maybe instead of Bar 201 since you're hitting Lacroix anyway and Southwark's focus on classic cocktails complements your other choices which are more modern. It's a little out of the way but only a short cab ride from your other places. The food there is great too, could be good for a snack if you end up with a late reservation anywhere, or maybe for dessert after Amada as it's not too far, walkable even if the weather is mild.

          1. If you actually have room for full dinner after brunch at Lacroix, my hat's off to you. I'd plan something very, very light for that night - perhaps somewhere like Amada then if you find you only want a few tapas and drinks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sockii

              So, you're saying that when you have brunch at Lacroix, you don't eat again the rest of the day?! Our reservation is at 11:30. If we don't eat again the rest of the day, I would think we'll be hungry at least by 9 PM or so.

              I get that it's a ton of food, but am I missing something? Even after a monster meal I need to eat again 8 hours later.

            2. I like a desert + cocktail option personally, and here are a few ideas that just hit me off the top of my head:

              -Barbuzzo for a salted carmel budino. They are open late, and maybe you'd at least have a chance for a seat at the bar. I've never been there late night.

              -Beau Monde for crepes. Then you can dance the calories off upstairs at l'Etage.

              -This is way off of the reservation, and perhaps repetitive for regular CH'ers as I posted about this last week, but I just had a lot of fun at Bar Ferdinand enjoying the sherry tasting, and I am a complete sucker for a churro.

              Also, I second (or third) the idea of a BYOB inclusion.

              And lastly, for Amada, IMHO the best thing to get is chorizo a la plancha, and I also enjoy the charcuterie, and lamb meatballs there. I'm part of a dairy-free couple, so I can't speak for the flatbreads. People speak well of the pernil asado, which can serve as a not-quite-the-same-proxy for the suckling pig if you are only a party of 2.

              3 Replies
              1. re: tfalbo

                Personally I think the suckling pig at Amada is (unfortunately) aptly named. But I am a big fan of most of the other items on their menu...

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  I agree with bluehens fan. I would caution that if you order the tasting menu make sure you dont have any dietary restrictions. I dined there once with someone that didnt eat any pig product and not once twice but three times they brought out dishes with some sort of pig product on it.

                2. re: tfalbo

                  Anyone have the paella at Amada? I'm going there soon for a celebratory dinner for my mother, and she's been obsessed about trying the paella, so I was just wondering if anyone has tried it, and if so, what the results were.